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42

In Japan, cicadas are symbolic of summer, and possibly symbolize reincarnation as well, based on summer being the time when the cicada comes out to sing.[1] As per their role in anime, according to Wikipedia, The songs of the cicada are often used in Japanese film and television to indicate the scene is taking place in the summer.   — Cicada, Wikipedia I ...


23

The other answer is technically correct, but I don't think the term "idiot hair" is actually common in the English-speaking anime community apart from on TVTropes. The Japanese term for this is ahoge, which literally translates to "idiot hair", but that translated term isn't particularly frequently used. A search 'Ahoge anime' gets around 700k Google hits ...


23

My feeling is that Hakase's answer is half-correct. I agree that characters are generally chosen so that the target audience can relate to them. However, I disagree that means that they're necessarily the same age as the target audience. That is to say, people don't necessarily relate best (as a group) to people who are of the same age as them. What people ...


22

This trope is usually attributed to Fist of The North Star, after Kenshiro attacks someone he pauses and says "You are already dead". It is only then that they realise their defeat and the attacks are applied. Reference. Another Reference (TVTropes) It's similar to how in Road Runner, Wilee Coyotee often runs off of cliffs, without realising the ground ...


22

This “fluffy ball” is a standard part of any sword care kit (see the red ball in the picture below). It contains some sort of powder ‒ I believe chalk ‒ that is used gather and bind any fluids on the sword before oiling it again. (That powder acts sort of like a sponge.) When cleaning your sword you will usually use clean water to remove any big pieces of ...


22

Because some people like women with big breasts. As usual, anime exaggerates; it can't just have a woman with big breasts, it has to have a woman with ridiculously gigantic breasts. This isn't purely a Japanese thing. Actually, I would argue that it came in origin from American media that were exported to Japan. In the US, large breasts are often considered ...


21

The most likely culprit is Go Nagai, the father of Ecchi fan service. You can probably trace it down to as early as "Shameless School", which often had female characters "losing" their clothes: But the actual tearing off of clothes may have first been in Mazinger Z's manga (circa 1972), linked from the very article in the question: It happens to ...


20

Note: Some references have been excluded here for PG reasons. There's a few layers to this question. Firstly, this isn't a hentai-specific thing. Lots of Japanese non-animated porn contains rape. This is a cultural thing spanning more than just anime. The main reason as some people have pointed out to you is that it sells. But let's go a little further ...


17

From my English composition class - its easier to write a story around a theme. I don't think stories that use the seven deadly sins are more prevalant in Anime, its just that we are talking about eastern entertainment using western themes, which naturally calls more attention to itself. As far as there being any significant message in the theme of the seven ...


17

Is is just for fan service (showing boobs and bikinis)? Mostly yes. Occasionally there are plot points or setting circumstances that require a scene be on a beach (legitimate reasons that is, like a romantic beach walk with an imprtant conversation, rather than poor excuses for bikini parades) For example, the Pretty Cure franchise has one Beach Episode ...


17

Most of this is a summary of the paper Maid in Japan: An Ethnographic Account of Alternative Intimacy by Patrick W. Galbraith (author of 'the otaku encyclopaedia') The first maid costume in Japanese popular culture came from the erotic anime series Cream Lemon, part 11: Black Cat Mansion in 1986. (Hiroki Azuma, Otaku: Japan's Database Animals, ...


16

First, this question begs the question of “Are the Seven Deadly Sins often used in anime?” Full Metal Alchemist and Soul Eater are provided as examples. Both series deal with the concepts of souls, taboos, and consequences of breaking said taboos. It makes sense that in such a storyline, like stories featuring shinigami, you might come across inclusion of ...


16

I cannot tell you who started it or where it comes from exactly, but it is based on the fact that mushrooms grow in dark and dank places. Exactly the kind of environment depressed characters are visually and mentally put into. It is mentioned in the Corner of Woe trope: Bonus points if you manage to act gloomy enough to attract Ghost Lights or grow ...


16

Actually it's not only Kyoto. Depending on the manga's theme, the field trip could be anywhere, but yes, most of the time it'd be Okinawa, Hokkaido, Kyoto and Osaka. As a side note, most of the manga I read has the school trip to Okinawa and Hokkaido instead of Kyoto like yours. Okinawa is usually visited during winter because due to its geographical ...


16

There's probably no one answer for why they drink milk in general, but as far as the bathing, it's considered a traditional drink in Japanese public bath houses after a soak: There is usually a refreshment cooler here where customers can self-serve and pay the attendant. Milk drinks are traditional favorites and sometimes there is ice cream. Most places ...


16

According to The Otaku Encyclopedia: An Insider's Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan, Lum Invader from Urusei Yatsura is possibly the first tsundere to exist (and also potentially the source of all moe) Urusei Yatsura started manga distribution in 1978 and Lum's cold exterior (but in actuality being kind and loving) accrued her the title. However, ...


16

TL;DR: No, real-life student councils do not have absolute powers and aren't as powerful as depicted in anime or manga. Long answer Japanese school life tends to be much more hierarchical and organized, with students being put in charge of far more of how things operate and thus the concept of student council comes. So first, let's define student council in ...


15

Animated male nipples are not a matter of legal Japanese censorship (or copyright law). It is fine to air them on TV in prime time. As Ray noted in a deleted answer, Dragonball, viewed as a most-typical shounen anime aimed at children, features male characters whose nipples are easily visible. Although the series garnered many adult and female fans, the ...


15

As the member of the Manga & Illustration Society student club at a Japanese national university, I have seen young Japanese women involved in sub-culture perform this joking action in public in real life. I have seen it done in a small group of female friends while staying at an onsen ryokan (traditional inn at a hot spring), in the midst of a large ...


15

In-universe, no reason is given apart from the fact that every time I can recall this happening they were near trees and thus a chunk of wood was convenient. The actual source is never addressed, and we never see trees falling over because they lost a chunk of themselves. For the real-world reason...It's a Japanese trope based on the actual legends built up ...


15

In the media/anime-verse, they do not have any specific name for themselves. The eyes themselves form a part of the Wingding Eyes: For animated characters, the eyes are the windows to the soul—literally. So literally, that their eyes become their innermost thoughts projected in very clear symbols for all to see. For example, the common ones mentioned ...


14

TV Tropes lists it under the name of "idiot hair", which apparently has an equivalent term in Japanese judging from the TV Tropes entry and by some Googling. "hair antennae" is also similar to that. As for actual meanings, it probably depends on the specific work - for instance, in Fullmetal Alchemist, the wisp doesn't seem to mean anything in particular, ...


14

Adding onto @Angelo's answer, the rise of the trend seems to coincide with the rise of idol culture in Japan. The idol phenomenon began during the early 1970s, reflecting a boom in Japan for the musician Sylvie Vartan in the French film Cherchez l'idole in 1963, with Japanese title (アイドルを探せ Aidoru wo sagase?) in November 1964. The term came to be applied to ...


14

I grew up in an area that was close to sea level (a bit further south than Japan) and in the Spring and Summer I recall hearing cicadas just about every time I went outside. I suspect the effect in anime is to improve immersion or accurately reflect the reality of the situation that the anime is trying to portray.


14

In real-life Japanese culture, many people do hope to get and attempt to get the attention of their love interest without ever voicing it or being direct, so this is not an anime/manga-specific trope but rather works of anime/manga are incorporating a very standard experience of elementary/jr. high/high schoolers in Japan past and through to the present. In ...


14

One of the most obvious reasons is that it's because of the target audience. The majority of anime titles are aimed at school kids, so there are school kids in it. Of course there are small important distinctions between the sorts of teenagers and young people, but in general they can all be described as school kids. Books, movies, tv shows and other works ...


14

The first 'magical girl' anime was Sally The Witch, who transformed with a wand into another costume - This was a simple animation though and performed in the same cut as the rest of the scene. Sally The Witch came out in 1966 and was in black and white. [Apologies for low-quality gif] If however, that feels like a bit of a cop out answer, the anime ...


14

This is a sub-trope of Anime Hair, which is known as the Hair Intakes A sub-trope of Anime Hair, this hairstyle resembles the hood scoops on a muscle car and also looks a bit like cat ears, allowing for the visual appeal of the Cat Girl in series that are too "realistic" to actually feature such a supernatural creature. Seems to be more common ...


13

There are 2 different things that you're picking up on: catch phrases proper, versus copulas. Both of these can be utilized in 1) making a character easy to remember, 2) setting the character apart in contrast to other characters in the same series (it is more common for only one character to sport a catch phrase in a series than for multiple characters to ...


13

This meme seems to be a conflation of two very different things. First, Hyakuya Akane from Owari no Seraph (the girl on the lower part of the image) does not share the low below-the-shoulder ponytail that the women in the top of the image share; she has a loose braid. Today I was handed this event flyer by a friend (a Japanese college student involved in ...


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